Students


Coming out of the USSR could be a disorienting experience, as then- Graduate Student Extreme found out in 1979 after seven months here as a guide-interpreter on a cultural exhibit: in my first encounter with an automatic bank teller back in the States, the newfangled “ATM” took my card, scanned it and then asked if I wanted to continue our transaction (a) in English or (b) en español. What? In Spanish?!?

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Who would choose a Spanish option in suburban Washington, DC? Had Zorro taken over the neighborhood? After the prolonged suspended animation of Soviet life, it was hard to resist an Extreme impulse to to look defiantly into the camera of this big-brotherish machine and ask, “Are you KIDDING, amigo?”

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Flash forward a decade to 1989, when Instructor Extreme is showing the first group of Soviet high-school exchange students a popular U.S. film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986), as part of their orientation: the hero drives an expensive sports car into a Chicago parking garage, where he asks the smiling but non-responsive attendant, “Do you speak English?” – only to receive the taken-aback reply “What country do you think this is?”

This gets a big laugh from the young Russians, just as it had in theaters around the States. It’s America, so people speak English, of course – always have, always will.

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Wrong and wrong, it so happens. If in 1979 and 1989 there was still little doubt about Anglo-hegemony, by 1999 the party was over for a homogeneous English-only national culture – and the new millennium has seen this transformation quicken its pace.

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Spanish was spoken in the Americas long before English: the Columbus trip was a Spanish project, and was followed by many more Hispanic forays north and south in the New World. While the young United States emerged as an Anglophonemajority state, it did so without adopting an official language – and does not have one today.

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It does have a new fastestgrowing segment of the population, however: today every sixth U.S. citizen is Hispanic, the census bureau tells us, and three decades from now non-Hispanic whites will be a minority – a situation utterly unthreatening to such utterly American icons as Bart Simpson, whose trademark exclamation is ¡Ay, caramba! (Oh gosh!/Wow!/etc.) and Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose Terminator famously wished usHasta la vista, baby! (See you later!), coining one of the most famous lines in Hollywood history.

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In short, Spanish is the second most used language in the United States, spoken by some 45 million Hispanophones and six million language students, comprising the largest national Spanish-speaking community anywhere outside of Mexico. Little wonder that the 2000 U.S. presidential election saw both major candidates – the resolutely white bread/mayonnaise/Anglophone- gringos George W. Bush and Albert Gore – deliver campaign speeches in Spanish. Votes are where you find ‘em, señor.

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So you are very likely to encounter Spanish and Spanish-speakers in American films, literature and on your trip to the United States – but your English textbooks haven’t factored this in yet, have they? “No problemo!” (which is actually popular pseudo-Spanish for no hay problema). Here’s Prof. Extremo’s Hispanic Starter Kit: The Top 10 Spanish Words/Phrases/Usages you’ll see/hear throughout the US – often occurring in otherwise exclusively English contexts:

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1. adios [ah-dee-OHS] – goodbye

2. amigo [uh-MEE-goh], amiga [uh- MEE-guh] – friend (masc., fem.)

3. barrio [BAHR-ee-oh] – neighborhood, usually a heavily Hispanic area

4. bueno [BWE-naw] – good, all right, OK; buenos días – good morning/day

5. Comprende? [kuhm-PREN-dey] – Understand? Got it?

6. gracias [GRAH-see-uhs] – thank you

7. hombre [OM-brey] – man, guy

8. nada [NAH-duh] – nothing, zilch; de nada – you’re welcome

9. por favor [PAWR fah-VAWR] – please

10. señor [seyn-YAWR], señora [seyn- YAWR-uh], señorita [seyn-yuh- REE-tuh] – Mr., Mrs., Miss/Ms.

Hundreds of Spanish words and phrases have become dual-language terms – which is why all of the above now turn up in English dictionaries – and both the total number and their “lexical share” of the general American dialogue are growing as you’d expect: at a pace that parallels that of the Hispanic population.

So get ready to rumba, hombre. Bart Simpson’s still ahead of you! 

Text by Mark H. Teeter at 11/03/2013

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(Mark H. Teeter is an English teacher and translator based in Moscow)

Check this Link:

http://www.gap360.com/learning-spanish-in-peru

When Saul Escobar was punished for daring to speak his mother tongue inside a Ucayali school, it never occurred to him that one day he would be a professor in a university and would teach in Shipibo, the very language that had so exasperated the mestizo director of his school.

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Saul remembers that with a smile, the same smile that he flashed two decades ago when Gerardo Zerdin, then the parish priest in Atalaya, decided to support him so that he could receive a university education in Lima. “I want to study, but I don’t have money,” Saul had told him. Saul has come a long way since then; not only is he a professor at the Universidad Nopoki, but he is about to get his masters degree.

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‘I have come’
Even though the idea had been bouncing around his head since the 1990s, it was only in 2005 that Zerdin, the bishop of San Ramón, with jurisdiction covering all of Peru’s central jungle, put his plan into motion. He approached the Monsignor Lino Panitza, the bishop of Carabayllo and founder of the Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae (UCSS), and asked him to help achieve his dream of creating an educational center for the indigenous population in Atalaya.

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Having lived with various ethnic groups in the Amazon, and especially with the Shipibo, Zerdin observed that the education in the classroom left a lot to be desired, as the teachers came from other parts of Peru, did not integrate into the communities, did not teach in the local languages and disappeared for long periods of time. So, he thought, the best thing would be if the locals themselves received an education, to later impart it to their communities. Lino Panitza, who shared the idea of providing opportunities for marginalized young people, was receptive, and that same year, an agreement was signed between the vicarship of San Román and the UCSS to create Nopoki (‘I have come’ in Asháninka).

“I don’t have words to express the greatness of Nopoki”
In 2012, four students belonging to the Yine culture graduated from Nopoki with bachelor’s degrees. It was hard work for Remigio Zapata, in charge of Yine grammar and tasked with reviewing all of the daily lessons that the students received in that language. “The course that was hardest for me was math, in part because of the insufficient prior education, but also because words like tangent, parallel and vertical are untranslatable into Yine,” he says.

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Juan López, also a professor at Nopoki, had to live up to his Yánesha name, Oth, which means “the strongest, the most powerful,” in order to overcome all of the challenges that life has presented him. When he was an important Yánesha leader, he was kidnapped for fifteen days by Shining Path; he studied at the La Cantuta University until Fujimori closed it and he had to flee to Pucallpa to continue his studies; later, he was elected mayor of the district of Palcazú, and when he refused a bribe from narcotraffickers, they put a price on his head. He had to leave Peru, assisted by German NGOs. In 2004, he returned to his community in the central jungle to work as a primary school teacher. Now, in Nopoki, he feels fulfilled. “Here, the students have food, a bed, sanitary facilities, clothes, healthcare, and that’s priceless. Education is the key to development, and the graduates of Nopoki have a complete education; they aren’t just teachers, but rather can create electrical, water and sewage systems. I don’t have words to express the greatness of Nopoki. If I’d had this opportunity, I would be an ambassador or a cabinet minister,” says Juan.

In 2006, Nopoki started as a pre-university center. The communities were very enthusiastic about the project. Roughly sixty students arrived and prepared themselves while UCSS was creating a bilingual, bicultural program. In 2007, there was an entrance exam, and the spectrum of participating indigenous nations expanded significantly. By then, professors from UCSS were already teaching, but they did not have the campus they now occupy. All of the activities were carried out in the Atalaya parish house. The rooms held up to 20 students on cots.

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In 2008, they received 30 hectares for the campus. The students cleared the land themselves and later helped to build the university. In 2010, they moved to the campus. In 2011, the first class of 26 students graduated with bachelors degrees. In December of 2012, 33 young indigenous students graduated, and they are now at the UCSS campus in Lima to receive their licenses.

Today, the administration of Nopoki is shared. The payroll is the responsibility of UCSS, and the expenses for housing the students and construction are billed to the vicarship. Help from international NGOs and private donations have been important in making the project a reality.

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‘He awoke our hearts’
Jovita Vasqúez, a 33-year-old Shipibo-Conibo from the first graduating class, is already a councilwoman in the Atalaya provincial government. She had always wanted to make something of herself, but it was impossible for her to finish her studies in Pucallpa due to a lack of funds. In her community, located in the district of Tahuanía, they spoke of Monsignor Zerdin as a legendary figure who helped the Shipibo. She let him know that she was interested in studying. That’s how she was considered for inclusion in Nopoki. “I learned to value my culture. The monsignor awoke our hearts and fed our self-esteem,” says a grateful Jovita.

Diógenes Campos, a 23-year-old Asháninka, is in the second entering class and lives in the indigenous community Aerija. From 2008 to 2010, he lived at Nopoki, but that he has a wife and son, he lives in his community and walks an hour each way to the university. In the future, he wants to work as a teacher in his community and to promote the development of agriculture, tourism, handicraft production and health. Unlike earlier generations, Diógenes believes in family planning and only wants to have two children. That is just one of the cultural changes he wants to inspire among his compatriots.

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A simple act of justice
The vice rector of UCSS, Dr. Gianbatista Bolis, was surprised by the ability of the indigenous students to pick apart the poems of Rilke, Pavese and Leopardi and associate them with their own experiences. This reinforces an important theory in intercultural anthropology, posited by Alain Touraine, which holds that all languages are dialects of one fundamental language, which is the language of the heart of man.

What’s certain is that a project like Nopoki could not be carried out without the belief that all human beings have the same potential and greatness. There are people with few opportunities, not fewer capacities. Giving them the tools to chart their own destiny is a simple act of justice.

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The natives graduated in the municipal coliseum of Atalaya, under the rain but illuminated by knowledge. Soon, they would leave to study for their licenses in Lima. As if by ritual, they would water, and take their photos next to, an aguaje palm tree that the first class had planted on the UCSS campus in Los Olivos. The palm tree has grown, and so have they.

 

* Álvaro Rocha for Somos,Translated and adapted by Nick Rosen (January 23, 2013)

Harvard has forced dozens of students to leave in its largest cheating scandal in memory, the university made clear in summing up the affair on Friday, but it would not address assertions that the blame rested partly with a professor and his teaching assistants.

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Harvard would not say how many students had been disciplined for cheating on a take-home final exam given last May in a government class, but the university’s statements indicated that the number forced out was around 70. The class had 279 students, and Harvard administrators said last summer that “nearly half” were suspected of cheating and would have their cases reviewed by the Administrative Board. On Friday, a Harvard dean, Michael D. Smith, wrote in a letter to faculty members and students that, of those cases, “somewhat more than half” had resulted in a student’s being required to withdraw.

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Dr. Smith, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, wrote, “Of the remaining cases, roughly half the students received disciplinary probation, while the balance ended in no disciplinary action.” He wrote that the last of the cases was concluded in December; no explanation was offered for the delay in making a statement. The forced withdrawals were retroactive to the start of the school year, he wrote, and those students’ tuition payments would be refunded.

The Administrative Board’s Web site says that forced withdrawals usually last two to four semesters, after which a student may return.

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Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education who has spent much of his career studying cheating, said that eventually, the university should “give a much more complete account of exactly what happened and why it happened.”

The episode has given a black eye to one of the world’s great educational institutions, where in an average year, 17 students are forced out for academic dishonesty. It was a heavy blow to sports programs, because the class drew a large number of varsity athletes, some of them on the basketball team. Two players accused of cheating withdrew in September rather than risk losing a year of athletic eligibility on a season that disciplinary action could cut short.

People briefed on the investigations say that they went on longer than expected because the university’s effort was painstaking, hiring additional staff members to comb through each student’s exam and even color-coding specific words that appeared in multiple papers.

One implicated student, who argued that similarities between his paper and others could be traced to shared lecture notes, said the Administrative Board demanded that he produce the notes six months later. The student, who asked not to be identified because he still must deal with Harvard administrators, said he found some notes and was not forced to withdraw.

Some Harvard professors and alumni, along with many students, have protested that the university was too slow in resolving the cases, too vague about its ethical standards or too tough on the accused.

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Robert Peabody, a lawyer representing two implicated students, said as their cases dragged on, with frequent postponement, “they emotionally deteriorated over the course of the semester.” He said one was forced to leave the university, and the other was placed on academic probation.

While Harvard has not identified the course or the professor involved, they were quickly identified by the implicated students as Introduction to Congress and Matthew B. Platt, an assistant professor of government. Dr. Platt did not respond to messages seeking comment Friday.

In previous years, students called it an easy class with optional attendance and frequent collaboration. But students who took it last spring said that it had suddenly become quite difficult, with tests that were hard to comprehend, so they sought help from the graduate students who ran the class discussion groups and graded assignments. Those teaching fellows, they said, readily advised them on interpreting exam questions.

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Administrators said that on final-exam questions, some students supplied identical answers, down to, in some cases, typographical errors, indicating that they had written them together or plagiarized them. But some students claimed that the similarities in their answers were due to sharing notes or sitting in on sessions with the same teaching fellows. The instructions on the take-home exam explicitly prohibited collaboration, but many students said they did not think that included talking with teaching fellows.

Dr. Smith’s long note did not say how the Administrative Board viewed such distinctions, or whether the university had investigated the conduct of the professor and teaching fellows, and a spokesman said Harvard would not elaborate on those questions.

*  , February 1, 2013

A Pennsylvania first-grader who doesn’t have hands won a trophy and $1,000 in a penmanship competition. 

On Wednesday, Annie Clark, 7, became the first recipient of the Nicholas Maxim Award, a prize from educational publisher Zaner-Bloser Inc. that recognizes disabled students with exceptional handwriting. 


Annie, who writes by wedging a pencil between her two arms, accepted the award from the basketball court at Wilson Christian Academy. She was cheered on by students and faculty as she wore all yellow in honor of the school’s colors. 

“Annie has always been very, very determined, very self-sufficient in dressing herself and feeding herself,” her dad Tom told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “She can ride a bike. She swims. She is just determined that there’s nothing she can’t do.” 

Born to a family of nine children, Annie is a sister to five other siblings adopted from China. Most of Annie’s siblings – including children born biologically to her parents – also have disabilities.

 

* DAHVI SHIRA, Friday April 20, 2012

After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

A set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the shelves of the New York Public Library.
( A set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the shelves of the New York Public Library.)

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.

“It’s a rite of passage in this new era,” Jorge Cauz, the president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., a company based in Chicago, said in an interview. “Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.”

In the 1950s, having the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the bookshelf was akin to a station wagon in the garage or a black-and-white Zenith in the den, a possession coveted for its usefulness and as a goalpost for an aspirational middle class. Buying a set was often a financial stretch, and many families had to pay for it in monthly installments.

But in recent years, print reference books have been almost completely overtaken by the Internet and its vast spread of resources, including specialized Web sites and the hugely popular — and free — online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Since it was started 11 years ago, Wikipedia has moved a long way toward replacing the authority of experts with the wisdom of the crowds. The site is now written and edited by tens of thousands of contributors around the world, and it has been gradually accepted as a largely accurate and comprehensive source, even by many scholars and academics.

Wikipedia also regularly meets the 21st-century mandate of providing instantly updated material. And it has nearly four million articles in English, including some on pop culture topics that would not be considered worthy of a mention in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Mr. Cauz said that he believed Britannica’s competitive advantage with Wikipedia came from its prestigious sources, its carefully edited entries and the trust that was tied to the brand.

“We have very different value propositions,” Mr. Cauz said. “Britannica is going to be smaller. We cannot deal with every single cartoon character, we cannot deal with every love life of every celebrity. But we need to have an alternative where facts really matter. Britannica won’t be able to be as large, but it will always be factually correct.”

But one widely publicized study, published in 2005 by Nature, called into question Britannica’s presumed accuracy advantage over Wikipedia. The study said that out of 42 competing entries, Wikipedia made an average of four errors in each article, and Britannica three. Britannica responded with a lengthy rebuttal saying the study was error-laden and “completely without merit.”

The Britannica, the oldest continuously published encyclopedia in the English language, has become a luxury item with a $1,395 price tag. It is frequently bought by embassies, libraries and research institutions, and by well-educated, upscale consumers who felt an attachment to the set of bound volumes. Only 8,000 sets of the 2010 edition have been sold, and the remaining 4,000 have been stored in a warehouse until they are bought.

The 2010 edition had more than 4,000 contributors, including Arnold Palmer (who wrote the entry on the Masters tournament) and Panthea Reid, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University and author of the biography “Art and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf” (who wrote about Virginia Woolf).

Sales of the Britannica peaked in 1990, when 120,000 sets were sold in the United States. But now print encyclopedias account for less than 1 percent of the Britannica’s revenue. About 85 percent of revenue comes from selling curriculum products in subjects like math, science and the English language; 15 percent comes from subscriptions to the Web site, the company said.

About half a million households pay a $70 annual fee for the online subscription, which includes access to the full database of articles, videos, original documents and to the company’s mobile applications. At least one other general-interest encyclopedia in the United States, the World Book, is still printing a 22-volume yearly edition, said Jennifer Parello, a spokeswoman for World Book Inc. She declined to provide sales figures but said the encyclopedia was bought primarily by schools and libraries.

Gary Marchionini, the dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the fading of print encyclopedias was “an inexorable trend that will continue.”

“There’s more comprehensive material available on the Web,” Mr. Marchionini said. “The thing that you get from an encyclopedia is one of the best scholars in the world writing a description of that phenomenon or that object, but you’re still getting just one point of view. Anything worth discussing in life is worth getting more than one point of view.”

Many librarians say that while they have rapidly shifted money and resources to digital materials, print still has a place. Academic libraries tend to keep many sets of specialized encyclopedias on their shelves, like volumes on Judaica, folklore, music or philosophy, or encyclopedias that are written in foreign languages and unavailable online.

At the Portland Public Library in Maine, there are still many encyclopedias that the library orders on a regular basis, sometimes every year, said Sonya Durney, a reference librarian. General-interest encyclopedias are often used by students whose teachers require them to occasionally cite print sources, just to practice using print.

“They’re used by anyone who’s learning, anyone who’s new to the country, older patrons, people who aren’t comfortable online,” Ms. Durney said. “There’s a whole demographic of people who are more comfortable with print.”

But many people are discovering that the books have outlived their usefulness. Used editions of encyclopedias are widely available on Craigslist and eBay: more than 1,400 listings for Britannica products were posted on eBay this week.

Charles Fuller, a geography professor who lives in the Chicago suburbs, put his 1992 edition on sale on Craigslist last Sunday. For years, he has neglected the print encyclopedias, he said in an interview, and now prefers to use his iPhone to look up facts quickly. He and his wife are downsizing and relocating to California, he said, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica will not be coming with them, a loss he acknowledges with a hint of wistfulness.

“They’re not obsolete,” Mr. Fuller said. “When I’m doing serious research, I still use the print books. And they look really beautiful on the bookshelves.”

 

By JULIE BOSMAN, ( NYT / March 13, 2012)

LAST week, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that teachers’ individual performance assessments could be made public. I have no opinion on the ruling as a matter of law, but as a harbinger of education policy in the United States, it is a big mistake.

I am a strong proponent of measuring teachers’ effectiveness, and my foundation works with many schools to help make sure that such evaluations improve the overall quality of teaching. But publicly ranking teachers by name will not help them get better at their jobs or improve student learning. On the contrary, it will make it a lot harder to implement teacher evaluation systems that work.

In most public schools today, teachers are simply rated “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory,” and evaluations consist of having the principal observe a class for a few minutes a couple of times each year. Because we are just beginning to understand what makes a teacher effective, the vast majority of teachers are rated “satisfactory.” Few get specific feedback or training to help them improve.

Many districts and states are trying to move toward better personnel systems for evaluation and improvement. Unfortunately, some education advocates in New York, Los Angeles and other cities are claiming that a good personnel system can be based on ranking teachers according to their “value-added rating” — a measurement of their impact on students’ test scores — and publicizing the names and rankings online and in the media. But shaming poorly performing teachers doesn’t fix the problem because it doesn’t give them specific feedback.

Value-added ratings are one important piece of a complete personnel system. But student test scores alone aren’t a sensitive enough measure to gauge effective teaching, nor are they diagnostic enough to identify areas of improvement. Teaching is multifaceted, complex work. A reliable evaluation system must incorporate other measures of effectiveness, like students’ feedback about their teachers and classroom observations by highly trained peer evaluators and principals.

Putting sophisticated personnel systems in place is going to take a serious commitment. Those who believe we can do it on the cheap — by doing things like making individual teachers’ performance reports public — are underestimating the level of resources needed to spur real improvement.

At Microsoft, we created a rigorous personnel system, but we would never have thought about using employee evaluations to embarrass people, much less publish them in a newspaper. A good personnel system encourages employees and managers to work together to set clear, achievable goals. Annual reviews are a diagnostic tool to help employees reflect on their performance, get honest feedback and create a plan for improvement. Many other businesses and public sector employers embrace this approach, and that’s where the focus should be in education: school leaders and teachers working together to get better.

Fortunately, there are a few places where teachers and school leaders are collaborating on the hard work of building robust personnel systems. My wife, Melinda, and I recently visited one of those communities, in Tampa, Fla. Teachers in Hillsborough County Public Schools receive in-depth feedback from their principal and from a peer evaluator, both of whom have been trained to analyze classroom teaching.

We were blown away by how much energy people were putting into the new system — and by the results they were already seeing in the classroom. Teachers told us that they appreciated getting feedback from a peer who understood the challenges of their job and from their principal, who had a vision of success for the entire school. Principals said the new system was encouraging them to spend more time in classrooms, which was making the culture in Tampa’s schools more collaborative. For their part, the students we spoke to said they’d seen a difference, too, and liked the fact that peer observers asked for their input as part of the evaluation process.

Developing a systematic way to help teachers get better is the most powerful idea in education today. The surest way to weaken it is to twist it into a capricious exercise in public shaming. Let’s focus on creating a personnel system that truly helps teachers improve.

 

Bill Gates is co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. NYT: Published: February 22, 2012

Angered by increases in tuition and cuts in state financing, thousands of students, parents and faculty members protested across California on Thursday at colleges, universities and even elementary schools to plead for help with the state’s education crisis.


Called a “strike and day of action to defend public education” by organizers, the demonstrations were boisterous and occasionally confrontational — campus and building entrances were blocked at several schools — but they were largely peaceful for most of the day.
Late Thursday afternoon, however, more than 150 people were arrested after they stopped traffic along an interstate in Oakland, according to the California Highway Patrol. There was also one injury. Protesters in Davis, outside Sacramento, also tried to block an interstate but were rebuffed by the authorities using pepper spray. One student protester was arrested.
Scattered tuition protests occurred in other states, too, with at least 16 people arrested at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, when protesters tried to force their way into administration offices and threw ice chunks at campus officers, according to a university spokesman.
One of the largest demonstrations in California took place here on the north steps of the Capitol, where more than 1,000 people used drums, bullhorns, and scores of young voices to try to get their message across.


“How are we going to save the future if we can’t even get into our classes?” said Reid E. Milburn, the president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, referring to tuition increases and reductions in the number of courses. Her comments drew a large cheer from those in the crowd, many them students avoiding classes in a show of protest.
California’s public education system has been racked by spending cuts because of the state’s financial problems, which include a looming $20 billion budget deficit. Layoffs and furloughs have hit many districts and school systems, along with reductions in course offerings and grants.
On Wednesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican in his last year of office, said the layoffs and reductions in courses carried out by some schools in the state were “terrible.” The bottom line, he said, was that “they need much more money.”
Where that money might come from is unclear. Alberto Torrico, the Democratic majority leader in the State Assembly, has proposed a 12.5 percent tax on the state’s oil producers, which he says could raise $2 billion for higher education. But with any new tax in California requiring a two-thirds majority in the Legislature, its prospects are uncertain.
Educators said the 23-campus California State University system — which has more than 425,000 students and lower fees than the 10-campus University of California system — was being hit particularly hard by cutbacks.
Julie Chisholm, an assistant professor of writing at one Cal State institution, the California Maritime Academy, in Vallejo, was struggling with 1-year-old twins at the Sacramento protest. She said that her $60,000 salary had been cut 10 percent by furloughs, but that she had chosen to take her furloughs on nonteaching days to avoid inconveniencing her students.
“Our students are getting hit, too, with higher tuition,” she said.
In Santa Cruz, the surfing town south of San Francisco, protesters effectively shut down access to the University of California campus there by blocking entrances, according to a message posted on the university’s Web site. Protesters also broke at least one windshield and intimidated visitors, the message said.


Santa Cruz and several other University of California campuses were the sites of demonstrations last fall when the State Board of Regents approved a 32 percent increase in undergraduate fees, the equivalent of tuition.
Several hundred students also protested at Bruin Plaza at the University of California, Los Angeles, where people in one group had painted skulls on their faces. And at the university’s Berkeley campus, Rafael Velazquez, 23, a graduate student in the school of education, who plans to be a public high school teacher, was one of hundreds protesting.
“I plan to be a teacher, but it’s not my job prospects I’m worried about,” said Mr. Velazquez, who has a brother in fifth grade in San Lorenzo. “It’s the whole system.”
The cuts are also being felt in economically depressed areas like Richmond, near San Francisco, where unemployment is 17.6 percent and violent crime and poverty are common.
“Kids come to school hungry; some are homeless,” said Mary Flanagan, 55, a third-grade teacher from Richmond. “How can we deal with problems like that with as many as 38, 40 kids in a class?”
Protesters said they would continue to press their case with more demonstrations, including what was expected to be a well-attended protest on Thursday evening in central San Francisco. But at San Francisco State, where about 150 students, faculty members and administrators had joined to form an “informational picket line,” some were skeptical that anything — other than a sudden influx of money — would be effective in swaying state leaders.
“We’ve had tons of protests here, and it doesn’t do much,” said Maura Geiszler, 22, a senior studying music. “All they’ve got to do is turn off the news.”
Reporting was contributed by Malia Wollan from Berkeley, Calif.; Jennifer Steinhauer and Rebecca Cathcart from Los Angeles; and Gerry Shih from San Francisco.


By JESSE McKINLEY-NYT (SACRAMENTO —March 4, 2010)